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China to allow corn imports from Argentina, reversing previous ban

Thursday, 23 February 2012 | 14:51
Last week, the Chinese government agreed to allow imports of corn from Argentina, reversing a previous ban (due to GM strains) in place for more than 10 years. As economic growth continues in China, demand for feed grains to support increased meat consumption is expected to rise over the coming years. The US Department of Agriculture has forecast Chinese corn consumption for the 2011/12 marketing year to reach 191 MT, an increase of 15 MT from the previous year; imports are set to quadruple to 4 MT. In the past four years, Chinese corn consumption has grown by about 27%; the only other country that has seen similar growth over this time is Brazil, which is a net exporter. This rapid increase in Chinese corn demand is likely the driving factor behind the change in trade policy towards Argentina, which is the second-largest corn exporter after the United States. With Argentina’s main grain export season rapidly approaching, the timing of the agreement bodes well for trade volumes out of east coast South America into the Far East this spring.
Source: ICAP Shipping
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